Peter Windsor, Jeffery Yong, and Michelle Chong-Tai Bell
The paper explores the use of accounting standards for insurer solvency assessment in the context of the implementation of IFRS 17. The paper is based on the results of a survey of 20 insurance supervisors. Overall, IFRS 17 is a welcome development but there will be challenges of implementation. Not many insurance supervisors currently intend to use IFRS 17 as a basis for solvency assessment of insurers. Perceived shortcomings can be overcome by supervisors providing clear specifications where the principles-based standard allows a range of approaches. Accounting standards can provide a ready-made valuation framework for supervisors developing new solvency frameworks.
Statistical agencies worldwide are increasingly turning to new data sources, including administrative data, to improve statistical coverage. Administrative data can significantly enhance the quality of national statistics and produce synergies with tax administration and other government agencies, supporting better decision making, policy advice, and economic performance. Compared to economic censuses and business surveys, administrative data are less burdensome to collect and produce more timely, detailed, and accurate data with better coverage. This paper specifically explores the use of value added tax and income tax records to enhance the compilation of national accounts statistics.
At an informal Board meeting in January, there was broad support for removing the current blanket prohibition on the provision of non-audit-related consulting services by the Fund’s external audit firm and replacing it with a blacklist approach, subject to robust safeguards to ensure the independence of the external audit firm.
This paper makes specific proposals to implement such a change. This would align the Fund’s policy on the provision of consulting services by the external audit firm with practices followed in major jurisdictions and allow the external auditor to perform certain consulting services with proper safeguards to maintain the auditor’s independence. The proposed safeguards include: (i) a blacklist of prohibited services; (ii) an independence declaration by the external audit firm; (iii) limitations on the consulting fees that can be paid to the external audit firm; (iv) an oversight role for the External Audit Committee (EAC); and (v) review of consulting services provided by audit firms prior to the selection of a new external audit firm for the Fund.
The staff sought the views of the EAC, which concurs with the proposal to modify the policy on the provision of consulting services by the external audit firm along with the related safeguards.
Germany has a comprehensive legislative and institutional framework for the effective supervision of the securities markets. The overall level of compliance with the IOSCO principles is high. There are significant industry concerns about the implementation costs resulting from a rapidly changing legislative framework. The German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin’s) overall approach to supervision relies very heavily on the flow of information, auditors’ reports, and compliance with legislative obligations. Regulators at both the federal and state levels work with a clear legal framework and clearly defined powers and responsibilities.
The Netherlands Authority for Financial Markets (AFM) has developed a robust supervisory framework, which exhibits high levels of implementation of the International Organization of Securities Commissions Principles. The AFM’s efforts are complemented by The NetherlandsCentral bank's (DNB) program of prudential supervision, which is reasonable and credible. Gaps in the legal framework for issuers, and on management of collective investment schemes, in the case of the DNB, have imposed limitations. Their ability to react in a swift manner to emerging risks in the financial sector is limited.